Free ADD Test and ADHD Test for Memory and Attention
Cognitive training can improve the symptoms of Inattentive ADHD. Though the CDC and the major psychiatric organizations report that only medication and behavioral training can improve ADHD, many respected authorities disagree that these are the only methods that improve the symptoms of ADHD.
The major problems of the Inattentive type of ADHD include: disorganized thinking, distractibility, poor working memory and slow processing speed. Many studies have shown that these problems can be improved with cognitive or brain training.
The National Resource Center on ADHD has not endorsed cognitive training as an approved treatment method for ADHD but they do not consider it a therapy that is alternative, unproven, or controversial. You can find their treatment recommendations here: http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment.
I can only hope and assume that if you or your child had cognitive testing that proved that your working memory and reaction time needed treatment, then the National Resource Center on ADHD would consider it as an appropriate component of the Individualized Education Plan but who knows.
Brain training, also called cognitive training, has been used as therapy for stroke victims, the elderly and in people with brain injuries as well as therapy for people with attention disorders. Studies performed evaluating the benefits of cognitive therapy have shown a significant improvement in the areas of working memory, attention and processing speed using brain training exercises.
The most vocal proponent of brain training for ADHD is the founder of Cogmed, Dr. Torkel Klingberg. He has shown that brain training can not only improve attention and working memory, but that it can also increase the density of brain dopamine receptors. Cogmed is far from the only 'brain training' game in town.
The brain training industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It seems that a new company enters the brain training market every day. This is not surprising. Research on brain plasticity has shown that our brain need not deteriorate with age. People concerned about potential problems with age related memory and cognitive decline are embracing brain training exercises and flocking to programs such as Lumosity and the Brain Science Posit program.
In the ADHD community there are brain training programs specifically designed for people with ADHD to treat inattention. The most popular programs include PACE, Learning Rx and Cogmed. These programs can cost thousands of dollars. There are cheaper program but many of those programs are boring and tedious to perform which is also a criticism that I have heard about the Cogmed program.
The good news is that there are many free online programs available on the internet to train your brain. These programs are not boring and can be performed in your home and at your convenience. Many researchers believe that you can get the same benefits that the expensive programs provide by performing 25 minutes of brain training five times a day using any of the cheaper or free brain training programs. These programs require a motivated participant or parent to complete but one cannot argue that the price is right.
One of the benefits of the more expensive programs is that they include an evaluation component. The evaluation determines what kind of training would most benefit you and then the program is designed to strengthen your cognitive weaknesses. The evaluation tells the parent or patient what area of brain training, e.g. working memory, processing speed, visual memory, etc requires strengthening.
These ADHD centers do not generally perform the most comprehensive ADD or ADHD test. The comprehensive test can take hours (over several days) to complete and cost as much as $2000 to $5000. These tests are administered by psychiatrist, learning specialist, testing centers, psychologist, neurologist, and occasionally pediatricians and are required when the diagnosis of ADD, SCT or ADHD is uncertain or unclear.
If you or your child has never taken an attention or working memory test, you can get a sense of where you stand by taking the free memory and attention test at:
The test is intended for adults and takes about 20 minutes and at the end you get a review of how you did compared to the average adult. I do not know how well these tests assess the working memory or attention of children but my guess is that, for children at least 11 or 12 years of age, you can get a pretty good sense of deficits based on the results that this test gives you.
I will give you a list of free brain training internet sites and the areas of the brain that the ‘games’ on the site help in my next post.
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